After watching just a few minutes of the CNBC Republican debate yesterday, I was off, channel surfing, then reading. Mark Levin is on to something. It is time for the Republican National Committee (RNC) to take control of this process and host its own debates. With RNC funds and technology, we can have a Republican primary for Republicans. By the way, I saw the video clip this morning of Ted Cruz taking to task the debate moderators; I am glad someone finally had the guts to take on these people. It unified the party and said what had to be said about the beltway and media elites.
Despite the quirky debates to date, it sure beats a majority of the political systems and processes throughout Latin America. For example, just this week, colleagues in Nicaragua who lead one of the oldest and independent human rights organizations in that country were denied the right to peacefully protest and express their opposition to a canal project spearheaded by a Chinese, probably China government sponsored, conglomerate.
The Permanent Commission for Human Rights (CDPH) is one of several groups that for at least two years have been calling for increased transparency in legal proceedings and respect for human rights throughout Nicaragua. Opposition of the canal is one of several issues that Nicaraguan civil society has struggled with the past few years.
Residents in the proposed canal zone have been forcibly evicted or threatened with eviction by Sandinistas and foreigners from their lands and homes. These people, some residing in the poorest region of Nicaragua, have had no other choice but to engage in many acts of civil disobedience. This week thousands of country residents were marching toward Managua to express opposition to the canal, but the Sandinista police blocked them and, at times, used force.
CPDH leaders have told me that rule of law is gone in Nicaragua, it is the law of Daniel Ortega and his Sandinistas. In my day job, we have collaborated with the CPDH on behalf of a client that has been politically targeted by the Sandinistas for his civil society works. The CPDH has rallied to his defense and, as a result, they are targeted for political persecution as well.
So if you think the GOP candidates had a tough evening yesterday, it was a cake walk compared to what other people need to do around the hemisphere to do the same.